The 2005 production hit the dramatization of some elements that would be known in the 2013 Elisa Lam case
Água Negra is a remake of the Japanese work Honogurai Mizu no soko kara (2002), from the horror genre released in 2005, with actress Jennifer Connelly as its biggest name. The plot, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles, tells the story of Dahlia Williams, a mother who, after separating from her husband, decides to devote herself entirely to the education of her daughter This. The two then leave to start a new life in a new apartment.
As with any work of this kind, things just go on with a gradual rhythm of events until everything goes really wrong. It doesn’t take long before they notice some unusual things in the apartment, especially in the water leaking all over the place and showing a very dark color. What then follows is the mental instability that forms in the mind of the protagonist as to whether these experiences are real or supernatural.
Água Negra’s production did not have supernatural events as is common in some works of this genre, however, the film has more troubling connections than one might imagine, particularly with a case that arose from the years after its release. There are also some very intriguing references that are present in the work, showing that its story was not designed to be so by chance. Now let’s get down to the facts.
Terror of 2005 has accidental and unusual references to a real case
On February 14, 2013, the Los Angeles Police Department posted a two-and-a-half-minute video on their official website in the hopes that it would help with a missing case. It turns out the mentioned recording is intriguing to say the least. The footage, captured by an internal circuit camera positioned inside an elevator, captures the last time young Elisa Lam was seen.
Inside the elevator, she exhibits a clearly erratic and restless behavior; press all the buttons on the panel, curl up in the corners next to the door, look both sides of the hallway (the elevator’s delay to close the doors is another disturbing element) and make unusual hand gestures ; it is not possible to identify if it is talking to someone outside the range of the camera.
The video quickly went viral, serving as material for various YouTube channels around the world (especially those specializing in real-life crimes) and elevated what until then was a bizarre but still normal case of disappearance to status. of mystery worthy of mention. production of terror.
Los Angeles Police released footage of the recording in hopes of clarifying the matter
The young woman in question, who is central to all of the story, is college student Elisa Lam who decided to embark on a journey through the West Coast of the United States before starting the school year at the ‘University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His goal was to make a trip between Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Cruz; she left alone.
On January 26, 2013, she arrived in Los Angeles from San Diego, the next destination being the city of Santa Cruz. With limited resources, she stays at the Cecil Hotel, located in Skid Row, a dangerous neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. Cecil is famous for providing affordable stays for visitors who otherwise couldn’t afford another location.
According to police, the last time Elisa was seen by hotel staff was on January 31. It was during an examination of the internal circuitry of the camera that the stretch inside the elevator was discovered, but other than that the young woman had not been captured by the hotel recordings. leaving the site. This has led to speculation that she may never have left the building.
The infamous Hotel Cecil was the last place Elisa was seen
The big turning point didn’t come until February 19, when some guests complained about the low pressure and the dark color of the water. An employee then goes to the terrace to check the water tank and finds Elisa’s body there. At this point, it’s interesting to see how the movie Água Negra indirectly predicted the unfolding of the case, mainly by assuming that water was a big factor in this story.
But, as previously mentioned, Walter Salles’ film has other more conscious references to the hotel where the crime took place. The Hotel Cecil, whose name inspired that of the daughter of the protagonist of Connelly, is quite infamous for its history linked to its customers, as the high supply of rooms (700 in total) and the low price of the daily rent attract people who otherwise could not stay elsewhere.
The names of the characters of Jennifer Connelly and Ariel Gade were not chosen at random
One of its most famous clients was serial killer Richard Ramirez, the Nightstalker, in the 1980s, but there were also others like Jack Unterweger in 1991. The hotel also bears the fate of having a healthy dose of minor crimes to the back murders, the most famous being the case of the Black Dahlia (hence the name of the protagonist of Água Negra) in 1947, when the victim Elizabeth Short was seen in the bar of the hotel before his death.
The point is that the Elisa Lam case, as exciting as it may have been, had the official result of accidental death from a bipolar epidemic. She had a history of suffering from this disease and was using prescribed medication to control any serious episode. The young woman left behind a grieving family who will never fully recover. Recently, Netflix released a four-part documentary miniseries titled Crime Scene: Mystery and Death at Hotel Cecil (2021), where it explores both the mentioned case and the history of the hotel as a whole.
It is interesting and even disturbing to see how a horror film could partly predict real tragedy; it’s a sad but real example of how life can consciously imitate art.
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